[E-voting] Open source voting system

John Bernard Lambe icte-jlambe at jlambe.com
Fri Mar 22 15:17:31 GMT 2013


Hi Margaret,

I'm a software developer using mainly Java, C# and Borland Delphi (and a
little C++, currently only for AVR microcontrollers; sometimes Pascal for
DOS; I've used C but not for a long time; I've used a few versions of
BASIC, mainly BBC BASIC).

I'd be interested doing some development and software design work on the
system, though I don't know how much time I'll have for it.

I can also provide web hosting (including Wiki, discussion forum,
Subversion (source control), issue tracking software hosting if required).


How likely do you think it is that a country would use such an open source
system?


Below is a very unfinished initial list of questions/comments:


Some initial questions:
- Are you thinking of a system that scans ballots at polling stations, as
voters vote, or at a central location?
  (The former provides greater security against tampering. Are there
suitable scanners readily available?)
- Would it support ranked voting systems (PR-STV, De Borda, etc.)?
  - If so, do we want to be able to read handwriting, or would we use
something like a lotto ticket (if there were 14 candidates, each one would
14 boxes, and the voter would tick one to indicate their ranking)?


Some decisions to be made:
  Features of the system
  Technical
    Software
    - Programming languages to be used in development.
    - Operating Systems to be supported.
- Whether the management and counting software is web or desktop based.
    - Database Server/Software (if any).
        Preferably one with a compatible open source licence?
    - Software interface to the scanners (Twain / WIA).
    Hardware
    - Supported/recommended hardware platform; Minimum requirements.
    - Supported/recommended scanners. (I've seen problems with buggy Twain
drivers in my work).
  Legal
  - What licence it will use.
  Management
  - Development procedures.
      e.g. How do we ensure security and quality of the codebase? Maybe a
policy that all source code commits are peer-reviewed.
    Technical
    - Third party code (libraries) used, and policy on allowed licences.
    - Hosting of the codebase, and source control system (Sourceforge?;
Google Code?; Private?).
    - Other development and online collaboration tools. (e.g. Wiki).
    - Coding convention.
  Marketing
  - Name of the system.
  - Web site hosting and domain.
  - Publicity / advertising.

Have you decided any of these already?
I'll post my ideas on them later, and I'm interested in everyone else's.
There are some important tradeoffs involved in some of them.


There was a mailling list, free-prstv, for writing an open source
implementation of PR-STV, which hasn't had any mails receently.
(I'll get the address later).
There might be someone on it who might join this project, if we are going
to support PR-STV.

Regards,

John Lambe
--------------------------
Phone: +353-86-2895286
25 Cashel Road, Crumlin, Dublin 12, Ireland.


On 22 March 2013 12:00, <e-voting-request at lists.stdlib.net> wrote:

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>    1. Open source voting system (Margaret McGaley)
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>
> Message: 1
> Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2013 17:38:59 +0000
> From: Margaret McGaley <mmcgaley at gmail.com>
> Subject: [E-voting] Open source voting system
> To: Irish Citizens for Trustworthy Evoting <e-voting at lists.stdlib.net>
> Message-ID:
>         <CAJFWMQPt0W7JXMHoBc5D6YgSvQ_Jc=
> UUvoc+61rdSWbh8z9upg at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
>
> Hello everyone,
>
> It almost ten years (!) since I sent the original email that started
> this list. Hopefully the fact that there has been zero traffic here
> for a while means there are still some people who haven't bothered
> unsubscribing :)
>
> I'm in the very early stages of trying to set up a project to develop
> a Free and Open Source optical scan voting system. If you have any
> interest in getting involved (in whatever capacity), please contact me
> either on-list or directly. For those of you interested in my reasons,
> here's a brief explanation:
>
> I was recently invited to speak at a seminar on e-voting in South
> Africa to give the Irish case study. One of the themes that emerged
> from the event was that vendors often have too much power, and too
> little interest in democratic concerns. They charge exorbitant fees
> for an inadequate product and service. I feel that it is possible to
> produce a well-specified, reliable optical scan system which has the
> potential to provide some benefits in some democracies.
>
> I'd love to hear any comments or questions you might have,
> And thanks again for your contribution to the demise of the
> Nedap/Powervote system in Ireland,
> Margaret
>
>
>
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